Amazon.com bans overseas seed sales in US amid mystery packages

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Amazon.com Inc. said it banned the sale of seed overseas to the United States after thousands of Americans received unsolicited packages of seed in their mailboxes, mostly with the stamp of China Post authentic.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in July identified more than a dozen plant species ranging from morning glories to mustard in unsolicited seed bags. He warned the Americans not to plant the seeds.

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Seeds from other parts of the world could be non-native varieties that harm staple crops, according to plant experts.

“In the future, we will only allow the sale of seeds from sellers based in the United States,” Amazon said in a statement sent on Saturday.

CERTAIN SEEDS OF MYSTERY SENT ILLEGALLY SENT TO CHINA IDENTIFIED: USDA

The company changed its seed sales policy on Wednesday. The policy change was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

The company added that sellers who fail to follow its guidelines will be subject to action, including the potential deletion of their accounts.

U.S. POSTAL SERVICE URGED TO STOP DELIVERING MYSTERIOUS SEEDS

According to Amazon’s policy web page, the ban extends to plants and plant products.

In July, the USDA said the packages were most likely part of a “scrub” scam, in which people receive unsolicited items from a seller who then posts fake positive customer reviews to increase sales.

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In an August 11 update, Osama El-Lissy, deputy administrator of the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), said experts analyzing some of the seeds from China found very little of problems. El-Lissy added that the two countries are jointly working on the investigation.

(Reporting by Shubham Kalia; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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